UK Minister Warns of Possible Loss of Sickness Benefits for Depression or Anxiety Sufferers

UK Minister Warns of Possible Loss of Sickness Benefits for Depression or Anxiety Sufferers
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London (Parliament News) – UK Minister Mel Stride warns of potential loss of sickness benefits for depression or anxiety sufferers, amid proposed welfare reforms, sparking controversy and concern over disability benefits overhaul.

Depression and anxiety sufferers may lose their entitlement to sickness benefits, the work and pensions secretary has said, as part of major welfare differences that have been defined as a “full-on assault on disabled people”.

How Will Disability Benefits Overhaul Impact UK Citizens?

Mel Stride announced the projects to overhaul the way disability usefulness works and was due to address the Commons on the matter later in the day. In a green paper due to be posted alongside Stride’s Commons statement, ministers will set out strategies to change personal independence payments (Pip), the leading disability benefit for adults, through modifications to eligibility criteria and assessments. 

While he aimed to portray the proposals as part of a “grownup conversation” about the most suitable form of welfare provision, he also suggested the focus on the plan was part of a Conservative election strategy prepared to put some pressure on Labour before a general election in which his party is predicted to suffer a heavy defeat.

The projects, which will be consulted on over the coming months, also include recommendations to “move away from a fixed cash benefit system”, meaning people with some states will no longer receive regular payments, but instead access to treatment if their condition does not involve extra costs.

What Motivated Minister Mel Stride’s Welfare Reform Announcement?

Stride batted away recommendations his government had created the problem by failing to adequately deliver such care in the first place, saying it was introducing a method in which some healthcare support would be delivered alongside “work coaches”.

During a BBC Radio 4 Today programme interview on Monday, it was put to Stride that the Tories were choosing apart the system they had themselves created in the hope of starting a “row about welfare scroungers” they expected might cause a greater political problem for Labour than for them.

“As to Labour, Labour have nothing to say about welfare. The only thing they’ve been saying about welfare is that they’re very squeamish about sanctions. They don’t think they should be applied in the way that we think, which we believe will cost billions of pounds,” he replied.

What Strategies Are Recommended to Modify Eligibility Criteria?

In an interview with the Times, Stride had suggested the proposals would mean people with “milder mental health conditions” would no longer receive financial support. And they follow a speech in which the prime minister announced major changes to the welfare system earlier this month, saying “people with less severe mental health conditions should be expected to engage with the world of work”.

Stride stated the system should not be paying people to handle the “ordinary difficulties of life” and indicated that many voters “deep down” agreed with him. Describing the differences as “probably the most fundamental reforms in a generation”, he stated: “There are those that have perhaps milder mental health conditions, or where perhaps there has been too great a move towards labelling certain manners as having certain [medical] conditions attached to them, where work is the explanation or part of the answer. What we’ve got to dodge is being in a situation where we too readily say: ‘Well, actually, we need you to be on benefits.’”

Massimiliano  Verde

Massimiliano Verde is a journalist at Parliament News, He is covering Society and Culture News. Boasting a Master's Degree in Political Science, stands as a prominent figure in the Italian cultural landscape. His presidency of the Neapolitan Academy, a scientifically and sociolinguistically renowned group, attests to his relentless dedication to safeguarding and promoting Neapolitan language and culture. His activism and profound expertise have propelled him into the role of interlocutor for UNESCO as part of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032), a prestigious acknowledgment highlighting the significance of his efforts in preserving the linguistic and cultural diversity of our planet.

Verde's fervent passion for the history and culture of Southern Italy has driven him to immerse himself in research, resulting in numerous essays and articles that delve into the peculiarities and beauties of the region. His commitment extends beyond academia, manifesting in ongoing dissemination activities aimed at acquainting the general public with the rich cultural heritage of the South. His endeavors transcend national boundaries, as evidenced by his participation in international conferences and collaboration with various foreign institutions, rendering him an ambassador of Southern culture on the global stage and fostering intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.